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14 year old saves two companions from drowning

Year 1831

Read by Brendan Dineen – Supporter, Royal Humane Society

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Henry Worrall, a boy of fourteen years of age, of Limerick, with the two sons of Mr. Randall, a shipbroker in this city, the eldest of whom is about ten, and the youngest about seven years of age, got into a small boat on Thursday the 16th instant, and were taken in tow by the “Joshua Oarrall,” schooner, bound to London. Not deeming it prudent to encourage the little party further down the river than about’ a mile, the tow-rope was cast off, upon which the ship’s boat, which was astern of the vessel, gave a sudden shear, and coming in contact with the smaller boat, capsized her. Nothing could equal the distress of the master and crew of the schooner, on seeing the little lads floating about, as they were unable to render them any assistance, the vessel being under heavy press of sail, and carried forcibly on by a rapid current. But Providence gave to H. Worrall that strength and fortitude by which many have been saved under similar circumstances. A little experience in swimming enabled him to save the lives of his companions in distress. He saw that a strong effort only could be of any avail, and with manly courage seized one of the boys, and guided him to the boat, which had by this time righted, telling him that on his fast holding it, his life depended. The other little boy was on the point of sinking, when H. Worrall, with fortitude and energy far beyond his years, dashed through the water, and grasping him at the moment he was disappearing, swam with his almost lifeless charge to the other side of the boat, so as to balance her. In this manner he was instrumental in supporting the boys until assistance reached them. The wind and tide had fortunately drifted the boat nearer the bank of the river.

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